Saturday, June 30, 2012

My Sweet T

Trying to get some blogging done while I have some peace and quiet in the house this morning. T is at work and Cosmo and KJ are spending some quality time hiking at Oak Mountain State Park.  They'll probably also get some swimming in while they're at the park.  They left super early this morning to beat the heat. 

T got in late last night from a few days at the lake with friends.  She said it was so nice and relaxing and they just really needed it.   Even though she's excited about college and new adventures, I know a part of her is incredibly sad to see her friends going off in all different directions. 

So tomorrow is July 1, also known as "T's Birthday Month of Celebrations."  Yes, Daughter #1 doesn't just get a b-day like normal people.  For some reason, we celebrate T's b-day all month long.  The party never ends.  Tonight she is going out to dinner with friends and tomorrow we have brunch plans.  After brunch we'll just spend a low key day at the pool and I think some friends are coming over in the afternoon to help her celebrate yet again. 

I just realized that today is the day that Dr. Fein called me at home and said, "Hey kiddo!  You've got a moose in there!  We're gonna go ahead and schedule a C-section for you for tomorrow and get that baby!"  Yes, I was literally standing in my kitchen barefoot and pregnant, mop in hand, when the phone rang. 

Let me back up a bit.  My original due date was June 21 but Dr. Fein said don't ever tell anyone your actual due date because they'll be calling you and bugging you.  I spent my original due date floating in my parents pool.  It was so freaking hot and I didn't have a maternity bathing suit so I had on a pair of Cosmo's gym shorts and a large t-shirt.  I had develooped gestational diabetes while I was pregnant with T and the last 8 weeks of my pregnancy were spent having Gluclose blood tests on Monday, Ultra-Sounds on Wednesday and doctor's appointments on Fridays.  After getting that last ultra-sound result late Thursday afternoon, Doctor Fein called me at home on Thursday, June 30, and in his best NY Jewish OB/GYN voice said, "Hey Kiddo!"  I was mopping the kitchen floor, nesting, when the phone rang. 

I called Cosmo at the office, called my parents and he called his parents.  I had to be at the hospital at 3 PM on Friday, July 1.  We went out for breakfast that morning and ran a couple of last minute errands.  And then we sat in 4th of July traffic.  Yes ladies and gentlemen.  I was late for the birth of my first child.  Our family arrived at the hospital before us.  My parents, Cosmo's parents and his brother Joe, his wife Laurie and their daughter Brittany were all waiting in the lobby for us. 

The Labor and Delivery nurses came and got us and as we were walking down the hall I realized they were taking us the long way.  Our nurse explained that there had been some complications with a delivery earlier in the day and the couple lost their child.  The nurses didn't want me, in all my pregnancy glory, to walk past their room or their grieving families.  That was so sobering to me and I will never forget that.  Every year on T's b-day I say a little prayer for that familly and wonder about them . . .  on the day that we celebrate our first born, are they thinking about the child they lost? 

That was also the moment I started to get scared.  And I mean really scared.  This got real.  Fast.  I had gestational diabetes and they thought my baby was at least 10 lbs.  At least.  Prep was a blur and all I really remember is the sound of my water being broken, Drs Price and Fein telling Cosmo he can stand up and get his camera ready (proud poppa bear told me afterward that my organs are very healthy looking -- nice and brightly colored).  So at 5:42 PM EST on Friday, July 1, 1994 our Little T-bone entered the world.  They let Cosmo cut the cord and then she was whisked away to be cleaned up and given the APGAR test.  I remember the nurses and doctors shouting out numbers to each other.  I remember hearing 9 several times and also the number 10.  Well, it turns out her APGAR was 9 both times and she weighed in at a whooping 9 lbs. 10 oz.  While I was being stitched up I kept asking Cosmo, "is she OK?  is she OK? "  He kissed me and said, "Val, she's beautiful.  She's just so beautiful."  And she really was.  She had the most amazing head full of black hair and the sweetest, prettiest lips I had ever seen on a baby.  Her lips were a perfect little bow.  We had decided, if it was a girl, to name her "Amanda Leigh."  Well, Cosmo said, "Val.  She doesn't look like an Amanda.  She has a head full of black hair.  What do you think of the name Taylor?"  I was so groggy and said, "Ok.  But if she's going to be Taylor, I want her to have Ann as her middle name."  My mother was named Virginia Ann for her maternal grandmother and Ann/Annie was my grandfather's younger sister who died at 16.  That is why I'm Valerie Ann. 

I remember being back in my room and the nurses telling me, "Congratulations!  You have the largest baby in the nursery!"  They brought her to me wrapped up tight like a little sausage in one of those thin hospital blankets and I unwrapped her immediately so I could get a good look at her.  She was so long (22 1/2 inches!) and so big and plump and soft.  There is nothing like fresh smelling baby. 

I was still a little out of it so the nurses asked Cosmo if he wanted to give her the first bottle (I was supposed to breast-feed but woke up that morning with a bizarre rash from my neck to my toes -- they didn't know if it was poison ivy, hives or hormones so they gently suggested we switch to a bottle so the baby didn't get sores in her mouth). 

My mom and dad must have hit the mall either late Friday night or early Saturday morning because they were at the hospital bright and early with an armful of sweet, sweet baby girl outfits.  No generic yellow or green.  Pink!  Lots and lots of Pink!  That night my hospital room was one big huge party -- my mom and dad, Cosmo's parents, Joe and Laurie, his sister Lynn and Ted, his brother Drew and wife Janet, my maid of honor Barbara and her husband Frank, my friend from work Michelle and her husband Chris.  The nurse came in and told us to keep it down our she'd make everyone leave. 

Sunday I was feeling more like myself and they finally let me shower.  It was so nice to have clean hair and a little make-up.  More visitors.  After everyone left that night I turned off all the lights in my hospital room and opened the blinds.  I was able to see the fireworks at RCC from my window and drifted off to sleep. 

Monday, July 4 was "Bringing Home Baby."  There is some really funny video of me trying to get T dressed.  I couldn't stop giggling.  I was so scared and nervous getting her dressed.  I thought I was going to break her little arm trying to get it in the sweet little white "going home" jacket I had picked out for her.  My mother in law said to Cosmo, "OK.  We'll see you back at the house."  And I think Cosmo hurt his mother's feeling when he said, "No.  No visitors.  We want to just come home and get settled in by ourselves."  It really was for the best; I was certainly not up to entertain a houseful of guests.  Cosmo had surprised me with a beautiful glider for the nursery and we took T straight into her room and rocked her to sleep.  I still have that glider.  I can't bear to get rid of it.  I rocked my two beautiful daughters in that chair many, many nights. 

On that day we started one of our many family traditions.  We walked into the house as a family.  Cosmo & I holding hands with the baby in our arms.  Since then, any time we move, we walk into our new house as a family.  And when KJ was born, we walked into the front door of this house holding hands with T in the middle and the new baby in our arms.  And now we've come full circle.  In 6 short weeks we'll be walking, hand in hand, into T's dorm room @ Ole Miss.  


Candi said...

That is so sad about the couple that lost their precious baby, and so touching that you still pray for them on your precious one's birthday. And I'm a slight bit confused. Your daughter was born in 1999? Wouldn't hat make her 13? Or are you talking about a different daughter, I may have gotten lost somewhere in the post??

Valerie said...

ARGH!!! You are totally right! T was born in 1994, KJ was 1999! Got the years mixed up! I will fix it!

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